String of Terror Attacks in Southern Israel Kills Eight

Many Wounded in Fierce Fighting With Dozen Terrorists

Standing Guard: Israeli soldiers guard a border post near spot where terrorists attacked a bus and car.
Getty Images
Standing Guard: Israeli soldiers guard a border post near spot where terrorists attacked a bus and car.

By Anshel Pfeffer and Revital Levy-Stein and Yanir Yagna (Haaretz)

Published August 18, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Eight Israelis were killed and 30 more wounded during a well-planned terror attack along the Israeli-Egyptian border Thursday.

The attack was planned in the Gaza Strip by the Popular Resistance Committees and perpetrated by terrorists who crossed from Gaza into Sinai via smuggling tunnels. They then traveled some 200 kilometers to reach an area of the border protected only by a tattered wire fence, about 15 kilometers north of Eilat.

Israeli forces killed five of the terrorists, and Egyptian soldiers reportedly killed two more. But the Israel Defense Forces estimates that 15 to 20 participated in the attack, meaning most escaped.

Giving Aid: A victim of the terror attacks is carried on a stretcher to a hospital in Eilat.
Getty Images
Giving Aid: A victim of the terror attacks is carried on a stretcher to a hospital in Eilat.

IDF officials believe the goal of the attack was to kidnap a soldier. The IDF had previously responded to warnings of a planned attack, beefing up its forces in the area.

The assault began around noon, when three terrorists armed with rifles, grenades and explosives entered Israel from Egypt and stationed themselves at intervals of about 200 meters along the highway to Eilat, Route 12, at a stretch of road that runs very close to the border. At 12:30 P.M., they opened fire on an Egged Bus 392, wounding seven passengers, causing light to moderate injuries. Most of those injured were soldiers.

A few minutes later, an empty bus and several cars arrived. The terrorists opened fire again, and when the bus stopped, one of the terrorists ran up to the bus and activated his explosive belt, killing himself and the driver.

The shooting killed four occupants of one car, plus the driver of another. At that point, the first soldiers arrived in two vehicles. One vehicle ran down one of the terrorists, killing him. Soldiers in the second vehicle opened fire on the third terrorist. One soldier, Staff Sgt. Moshe Naftali of Ofra, was killed in the ensuing gun battle.

Additional police and army forces then arrived on the scene and killed the third terrorist. They also opened fire on two additional terrorists who were waiting on the Egyptian side of the border.

Assault helicopters joined the battle, and a terrorist fired a rocket-propelled grenade at one of the helicopters, but missed.

Then, at about 6:45 P.M., as senior defense officials were briefing reporters on the earlier attack, terrorists opened fire once again − this time at a Yamam force patrolling the border not far from the site of the original attack. One policeman was killed in the assault and another was wounded.

In response to the air strike, Palestinians fired two Grad rockets at Ashkelon. One landed in an open area near the city and caused no casualties or damage. The other appeared headed for a populous area of the city and was shot down by an Iron Dome anti-missile battery that had been stationed there a few days before due to an escalation in the rocket fire from Gaza.

Two other rockets were fired at Ashkelon at about 10 P.M.

For more, go to Haaretz.com






Find us on Facebook!
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.